May 31, 1997 in Nation/World

Animal Sacrifices At Festivals Opposed

Compiled From Wire Services

An animal rights group is asking courts and politicians to stop the decapitation of goats, cats and chickens at a local cultural festival.

The Animal Pro-Life Association of Veracruz state announced Friday it is trying to stop the animal sacrifices during the annual Afro-Caribbean Festival, scheduled for June 13-27 in the port city of Veracruz.

The sacrifices are performed by groups demonstrating Afro-Caribbean religious ceremonies.

“They are sacrificed in a bestial form. They are decapitated and still living,” association spokeswoman Susana Betencourt said.

She said the association did not oppose the festival as such, but said it should be canceled if the sacrifices were included.

There was no immediate reaction from state officials. Festival organizer Rafael Arias said the presentations would not be scrapped.

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